Tropical Storm Amanda forms, becomes first named storm of eastern Pacific season
Friday, May 23, 2014, 11:31 AM -
A tropical depression swirling in the eastern Pacific strengthened into the first named storm of the season Friday morning.
Tropical Storm Amanda has formed over the eastern Pacific about 1000 km south-southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico.
According to the U.S. National Hurricane Center, some additional stregthening is expected over the next couple of days, but the storm poses no threat to land and remains far offshore.
There are currently no coastal watches or warnings in place.
On Thursday, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration issued its 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook with a near to below average season predicted.
Up to 13 named storms are expected, between three and six of which will develop into hurricanes, and perhaps one or two of those reaching Category 3 or higher (with wind speeds of 178 kilometres per hour or higher).
"The main reason for this more subdued forecast, according to the experts, is the El Nino that appears to be developing in the equatorial Pacific Ocean," says Weather Network digital meteorologist Scott Sutherland. "This weather pattern, which sees the Pacific trade winds diminish for months at a time, allowing warm waters near northeastern Australia to 'slosh back' towards northwestern South America, typically causes the opposite effect in the Atlantic trade winds. It's this increase in the Atlantic trade winds that's expected to give a more subdued season this year."
For more of Scott Sutherland's detailed hurricane analysis, check out his latest feature here.